WHAT IS THE ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM DIVORCE?
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A man and woman must be legally capable of entering into a valid marriage. If the parties are under a disability the marriage can be annulled, that is, it can be voided. Among the grounds for annulment of marriage are incurable physical incapacity, incapacity to enter into marriage due to infancy, lack of consent or consent procured by fraud or duress, and five years of incurable mental decease.
- If either spouse is incurably incapable of having sexual intercourse, the marriage may be annulled.
- Both parties must be over the age of 18 years to marry without parental consent. A marriage between persons under the age of 18 years may be annulled, at the discretion of the Court, if the spouse under 18 wants an annulment.
- If, after marriage, either partner becomes incurably insane for five years or more, the marriage can be annulled. However, the sane spouse may be required to support the insane spouse for life.
- The parties must knowingly consent to the marriage. It may be voided if either spouse consents to marry as a result of the force or duress of the other spouse; or either spouse cannot understand the nature, effect, and consequences of marriage.
- The marriage may be annulled where the consent was obtained by fraud, provided the fraud was such that it would have deceived an ordinarily prudent person and was material to obtaining the other party's consent. The fraud must be such as to go to the essence of the marriage contract. Only the injured spouse can obtain the annulment on a lack of consent.